In a dramatic day for Australian rugby, the Western Force have been axed from the Super Rugby competition and ARU chief Bill Pulver has announced he will quit.

At a press conference in Sydney tonight, Pulver confirmed he will leave his role as soon as a replacement can be found.

"I have made the decision to step down as CEO once the board finds someone to replace the position," said Pulver.

"I have enormous sympathy for everyone in Western Australia. Simply, this is the right decision for Super Rugby. We need to get the balance right.

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"I am very very sorry for all the people affected by this in Western Australia.

"Sports is a difficult business and we have had a difficult year. This means it is the right time for me to step down and create renewal."

- More to follow.